No Perma-Death

One of the most classic rules in a Rogue-like is that if (or most usually when) you die, you loose everything. Everything down to your name including level, xp, items, everything! This is known as permadeath or PD as in Permanent Death.

As Imbroglio Online is a multiplayer game not solely based on Co-op (cooperative) and that has PvP (players can kill each other), I feel it would be just too much, the whole play would be about hiding/protecting from player killers or be that evil guy and go out gank newbies.

A bit like a normal roguelike with some level 100 monsters zooming around randomly, if they see you then you die and death is final… No Fun !

That is why I decided to go breaking the Rogue-like paradigm and not have perma death. The problen is that perma death is good so I will have several downsides which I must? try to design around / design away.

Problems (things Roguelikes have because of perma death) :

  • New play each time
  • Scary, on the edge gameplay where choices matter.
  • Player Wipe
  • Item Wipe

In Imbroglio Online, when you die, you will be teleported ‘home’ and you can just continue playing, so death will be quite painless, especially at the surface close to the starting village, at worst you have to ‘walk back’ to where you were killed but the farther you travel, the worse it will be because of the distance.

That doesn’t seem to be a lot of fun though as you know what you are walking back to (when you die in a rogue like, the next play is usually completely different).

Remedies :

If you go down the stairs in a house to check out the cellar, find a tunnel going down, the tunnel will divide and change type often, to the left the sewer, to the right old ruin like tunnels, down the sewer a hole entering another type of underworld and so on ending up, 15 levels lower and a lot of different surroundings later, in the secret anti-chamber of Hootoh and his minions.

That should be different each time you play, making it feel like a ‘new’ game each time you get deep enough. That might also have you on the edge because as you enters the Forgotten Crypt of Anxara you know you won’t find it again if you die…

About knowledge wipes and item wipes, I don’t really have a solution to it today, well I do have a start and at the moment it goes a bit like this :

Make so many different spells, actions and competences that it will take really long time until you “know it all”. There might also be nice combinations to explore and so on…

Only let the player bring a certain number of them with him, say 5 Spell/Action ‘slots’ that you can change only at home. That will present the possibility for the change of player style.

The same goes for items but I have to think about it so I won’t end up with items only having a lot of different random characteristics… Spells and procs might come in handy though and a lot of (useful, not only damage enhancing) characteristics will make item differentiation possible without having 90% of everything useless.

Well, until next time I’ll continue my search for the Multiplayer Rogue-like-esque Graal, see ya soon!

 

 

Characs II

So the base characs are all set up: Hit-points, Mana, Attack, Dodge, Damage, View, Stealth (or dissimulation), Armour and Force.

[EDIT] I forgot about Speed, it is just a cost multiplier for any kind of action, if your speed is 50% then moving doesn’t cost 1.2 but 0.6 ‘time’ or ’rounds’

The magical characteristics was a bigger headache though, what kind of characs do I need and how should they work?

These are the characs (or characteristics) I have decided on, at least for now:

  • Life
  • Necromancy (or Death)
  • Fire
  • Cold (or Ice)
  • Arcane
  • Mind / Mental
  • Poison

and more importantly, this is how they work:

Every time you earn experience points, you will earn the same amount of ‘points’ going into a pool (a “magic-pool” or “pool of magic”). Every time you use some kind of magic action, points from the pool (if any) will / might go into the actions magic-class.

Example: You have just killed your first beast and you have earned 10xp, so your magic-pool gets 10 points too. As you are a bit beaten up you heal yourself with your magical ‘Personal Heal’ spell. As it is a success, 2 points from the magic-pool goes to your characteristic ‘Life’ which now equals 2.

What will those characs be used for?

A high Life characteristic can make spells work better (say farther away), a high Mental value will be necessary to control a monster (who has its own mental characteristic that might counter your spell), a high Poison characteristic will protect you from poisonous attacks and a high Death charac will make the fail rate lower for a Fear spell.

There will be caps on how high those characteristics may go and they will be calculated according to the players level, most probably so that you can’t be ?ber-specialized in one type of magic.

Well, that is all for today, Just know that a basic AI is now up and (literally) running on my local platform, the monsters drop things (and not just food) and well, the whole game is moving forward, no icebergs ahead at the moment!

 

 

Characs

I’ve decided to go with those base characteristics for all players and monsters, later on I’ll most probably add magic (power, resistance, poison etc) but for now this is what I will use:

  • Attack: a certain number of six sided dices
  • Defence: a certain number of three sided dices
  • View: the maximum distance you can see
  • Force: How much weight you can carry
  • HP: Max hitpoints
  • Damage: The physical hit-damage
  • Armor: Reduces the physical damage taken
  • Mana
  • Discreteness

When you hit a monster, an Attack roll and a Defence roll is performed, the first with six sided dices, the second with three sided dices and if the attack is superior than the defence, damage is dealt. If the attack is bigger than twice the defence then the hit is critical and the damage is doubled.

The 6-sided dice versus 3-sided dice has really nice probabilistic ‘stats’ and if you add in the critic you’d almost be off as good if you upgrade one or the other. A ten 6 dice roll will also most usually land you in the same region (30-40) but it’s not impossible to do a 11 or a 55 on a particular day…

Every level you will earn one stat-point that you can spend as you like on the first 5 characteristics (damage and armor comes only from items / spells / race characs etc.)

Each point spent gives one point if spent on any of the first two characs, spend one point on attack and you attack will go from 2D6 to 3D6 for example.

The view is at ’1 case’ for a new player and each case extra costs 1 then 2 then 3 and so on points, view is rounded upwards (so you see a little bit better in the beginning and it also gives the ‘view-circle’ a nicer roundishness to it).

The force will most probably work as the view, if will only start at a higher level (probably 5).

The maximum hit points works like the view but the other way around, first point spent upgrades your 5 HP to 6 by adding just one HP, the next point spent adds two HP then three and so on.

Regeneration may only come from food / spells and so on, no normal (passive) regeneration of hitpoints will exist. There will be a lot of things to do to regenerate though.